- James Harden and LeBron James have emerged with the shortest odds to win the 2019 NBA MVP Award
- Harden is gunning for his second MVP trophy, while LeBron is aiming for his fifth
- The Field presents bettors with an intriguing list of All-Stars
It’s amazing what a 54-point performance can do for your MVP odds. James Harden has leapt back into the NBA MVP conversation after going bonkers against the Wizards on Monday night. The six-time All-Star was 17-32 from the field and 7-15 from beyond the arc in Houston’s shocking overtime loss to Washington.
Harden’s performance boosted his scoring average to 31.5 points per game on the season, and also improved his odds to win the 2019 NBA MVP Award. MyBookie now has The Beard and LeBron James neck and neck at +150.
Is Harden capable of winning his second straight MVP Award? Let’s dive into the numbers and see where the value lies.
2019 NBA MVP Odds
|Player||Odds to Win the 2019 NBA MVP Award at MyBookie|
Harden Will Have a Hard Time Repeating
There are many who feel Harden was “gifted” the MVP Award in 2018, and it’s hard to disagree when you look at the raw numbers. LeBron finished the season with more points, rebounds, assists, and triple-doubles, and posted a superior field-goal percentage and three-point percentage despite facing more double teams. Voters have a history of compensating for past errors and are likely to move on from Harden in 2019.
LeBron vs Harden
— NBA RETWEET (@RTNBA) June 26, 2018
LeBron is Looking to Add to his Legacy
LeBron has already won four NBA MVP awards, and a fifth would put him in the same company as Bill Russell and Michael Jordan, two of the greatest winners in league history. James hasn’t been shy about the fact he’s “chasing ghosts,” and understands better than anyone how a fifth trophy would cement his status as the greatest player of all time. Count on him turning on the jets in the second half of the season.
LeBron from the parking lot for his 51st point ? pic.twitter.com/SvObVkIeUR
— ESPN (@espn) November 19, 2018
A Warrior Won’t Win the Award
Putting great players on the same team is an excellent recipe for winning championships, but it’s a miserable formula for producing MVP winners. Neither Steph Curry or Kevin Durant have finished better than sixth in MVP voting over the last two seasons as they’ve consistently split votes. That trend will continue again in 2019.
Don’t Overlook the Field
MyBookie’s odds sheet is relatively small, which means there’s a ton of value to be found by wagering on the Field. Take a quick look at some of the players they’ve excluded:
|Joel Embiid (76ers)||28.1||13.3||3.5|
|Kemba Walker (Hornets)||27.9||4.3||6.5|
|Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)||26.4||5.2||6.1|
|DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)||24.7||6.0||6.3|
|Paul George (Thunder)||24.0||8.1||4.4|
|Russell Westbrook (Thunder)||23.2||9.5||9.3|
|Kyrie Irving (Celtics)||21.9||4.9||6.4|
The list is full of A-list players who are having career years, including Kemba Walker, who’s fourth in the league in scoring, and DeMar DeRozan, who’s unlocked a new gear as one of the NBA’s best distributors. And don’t forget about Russell Westbrook, who won MVP honors in 2017 and is on the verge of averaging a triple-double for the third straight year.
— NBA TV (@NBATV) November 27, 2018
Harden, LeBron, and the rest of MyBookie’s selections are all worthy contenders, but if you’re looking for real value, you can’t beat the Field.